UM Senior from Oxford Excels in CIS Studies

Will Gates soars in academics, extracurricular activities in pursuit of career in statistical analytics

Will Gates

OXFORD, Miss. – With first and last names very similar to the founder and president of Microsoft, it is not too surprising that Will Gates chose computer and information science as his college major. During his tenure as a University of Mississippi undergraduate, the talented senior from Oxford has soared to success, achieving academic honors and rare extracurricular opportunities.

“I’ve grown a lot during my time at Ole Miss, just from being open to a wide array of experiences,” the 22-year-old said. “Not only have I remained involved in my own department and niche, but I have gotten a lot out of branching out, whether it be participating in musical ensembles (orchestra and men’s glee) or studying abroad in Scotland and Germany.”

A student in UM’s Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, Gates was awarded the computer science spring SAP scholarship by the Department of Computer and Information Science in 2012. He also was awarded fellowships to study abroad in Osnabrueck, Germany (summer 2011) and Edinburgh, Scotland (spring 2012). With a minor in German, Gates also received the German departmental award in 2011.

“I am most proud of being offered the internship I am completing this summer with the U.S. Army Research and Development Center in Boston,” Gates said. “The project I am tasked to is entitled ‘Serious Gaming,’ which entails developing game-driven methods for decision-making, such as multi-criteria decision analysis.”

Gates’ parents, both Ole Miss administrators, couldn’t be prouder of their son’s accomplishments.

“We are very proud of Will and appreciate the support and encouragement that he has received from CIS, as well as the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies and the modern languages department,” said Kathy Gates, the university’s chief information officer.

“It is nice to see different academic areas working together to make good things happen for students,” said Charles Gates, chair and professor of music.

Of all Gates’ professors, he said he most enjoyed classes with Dawn Wilkins, professor of computer science, and Yixin Chen, associate professor of computer science.

“My favorite class was Robotics with Dr. Chen, particularly because it involved applying some difficult artificial intelligence and computational theory to a really fun subject,” Gates said.

Chen remembered Gates as being an exceptional student.

“Will has a passion for knowledge and is always motivated to excel in class,” Chen said. “He works well in teams and independently.”

After graduation in December, Gates plans to further his education in either computer science studies or applied math/statistics.

“I plan on pursuing a career in NBA Analytics, which involves statistical analysis for team-building/strengthening purposes,” he said.

Based on his present trajectory, Gates has every chance of becoming as successful as that Microsoft guy with the similar name.